POLS 15 San Jose State University Federalist and Antifederalist Argument Discussion

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Based on your readings in the text, especially in chapter two, you should have noted the arguments between the Federalists and the anti-Federalists in relation to the ratification of the Constitution. Some of the general arguments and beliefs of the two sides are summarized in the chart attached below. Please post your responses to the this chart. You can post by clicking on the 'Reply' link at the bottom. In this assignment you have two tasks: Please state whether you find the arguments and beliefs of one side to be more persuasive than the other, and why. Please try to elaborate and use examples to make your point clear.

Your postings do not need to be lengthy. You should be able to summarize your initial thoughts in a few paragraphs (2 pages). Feel free to use examples to make a point. We have no shortage in recent news, or you can draw on other areas to illustrate your point. There is no right answer. What I am looking for is simply your own evaluations of the two positions.

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Federalists View of Man man's dominant interest is selfinterest; the key is to turn this selfinterest to an advantage (reasoning in Federalist #10) View of 'The People' distrusted the masses somewhat: “people are turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right” - A. Hamilton instability/anarchy: Tyranny of the Majority/people; mobs looting, burning mortgages (Shay's rebellion) and intimidating people; business cannot thrive in this environment government can be a positive thing, especially in helping the economy to grow; wanted to strengthen the national government to assure freedom, secure property & guarantee independence state's rights were divisive, used to promote loca l self interests Major fear View of government View of States (Democratic) Republicans man has corrupt elements, but reason triumphs: “Nature has implanted in our breasts a love of others, a sense of duty to them, a moral instinct” - T. Jefferson public education and free government enables people to make good choices in elections domination: distrusted the powerful few - those who are in office are a bigger threat; feared an “elected king” a necessary evil which needs to be limited and constantly monitored and reviewed states should have all the pow ers not immedia tely necessary to the national government View of the Constitution broad interpretation, so the government will have enough power to keep order narrow interpretation, lest the government have unrestricted power View of economy saw the U.S. as a potential great power, but needed to have a steady, unified c ountry and a stable economy; wanted taxes raised and war debts paid to create a p owerful trading state distrusted direct democra cy; pragmatic businessmen (who called for the Constitutional Convention in 1787) future in trade, large companies, commerce & trade/mercantilism; urban society didn't disagree, but tended to look west at the agricultural potential of the undeveloped lands, since most p eople would ma ke living in agriculture believed in wisdom of the people; idealists? View of democracy View of the future small, independent land owners; rural society
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Explanation & Answer


Federalist and Anti-Federalist Argument – Outline
Thesis Statement: In my view, the views of the anti-federalists are more convincing.

The ratification debate is in many ways the foundation of American politics
The views of the Anti-Federalists are more persuasive because they support a direct


Federalist and Anti-Federalist Argument




Federalist and Anti-Federalist Argument
The ratification debate is in many ways the foundation of American politics. The same
beliefs that were there during this debate exist even today. The Federalists and Anti-Federalists
differed on many issues. Each side have a different view on the structure of government, people...

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